Allison Au Quartet

Juno-award winning saxophonist, composer, and arranger, Allison Au refuses to be defined. Born to a Chinese father and Jewish mother, and raised in the multicultural metropolis of Toronto, Allison found music as a young child. She was exposed to a wide array of musical styles but was captivated by the unhinged freedom of Jazz. Jazz became Allison’s lab for self-expression, exploration, and musical ​ experimentation. Her music weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of Jazz but skillfully laced with elements of Classical, Pop,R&B/hip hop, Latin, and world music.

Au’s music transports you to a place where instrumentals ring bold and emotions run free. Melodies cascade and collide, highlighting Au’s gift for layering voices and rhythms. Her writing showcases the color and character of each instrument, while providing ample room for her dedicated bandmates to push her compositions to new heights.

At just 27, Au earned her first Juno nomination for her debut album, “The Sky Was Pale Blue, then Grey”, and at 30 she seized the Juno for "Best Jazz Album of The Year: Group" for “Forest Grove.” Formed in 2009, the Allison Au Quartet has toured extensively in Canada and the US. The group was awarded the TD Jazz Fellowship Scholarship (2011), The Alfred and Phyllis Balm Scholarship (2012), and The Margareta and Benno Nigg Scholarship (2013) for three consecutive artist residencies at the Banff Centre.

Todd Pentney started his classical piano studies at a young age. While in high school, he began performing regularly in his home town, Thunder Bay, with locally established musicians. Todd moved to Toronto to attend the Jazz program at Humber College. Here he studied with Canadian Jazz masters such as Brian Dickinson, David Virelles, Bernie Senensky and Dave Restivo.

Since relocating to Toronto, he has had the opportunity to perform with musicians like Ingrid Jensen, Dave Douglas, Mike Murley, Matt Dusk, and Jeff Coffin. Todd currently works full time as a performing musician playing extensively in a diversity of genres and formats, such as Jazz, Big Band, Fusion, Funk, Hip-Hop and R&B. He can be seen performing regularly with many different groups including Monsoon, Alex Brown Quintet, The Code, and Christian Overton's Composers Collective.

Jon Maharaj is one of Toronto's busiest bassists. He has performed and or recorded with Reg Schwager, Mike Murley, Christian Scott, Matt Stevens, Dione Taylor, and many others. He's appeared on dozens of recordings crossing a number of genres.

He graduated from the University of Toronto's Jazz studies program. He lived in New York on a Canada Council grant, where he had the opportunity to study with Drew Gress, Ben Street, Scott Colley and Matt Brewer.

Fabio Ragnelli is a freelancing drummer in Toronto and New York City. Fabio has had the privilege to perform with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Reg Schwager, Kelly Jefferson, Vitor Gonçalves, Rogerio Boccato, and Dave Douglas among others.

Fabio has appeared on a number of JUNO nominated albums, and recently won ‘2016 JUNO Jazz Album of the Year’ as a member of the Allison Au Quartet (“Forest Grove”). Fabio is a member of the Allison Au Quartet, Emilie-Claire Barlow Group, Michael Davidson Septet, and the Daniel Fortin Group.